Situated in Valencia’s Jesús neighbourhood, R Apartment can be found in La Finca Roja, a residential block dating back to 1929. Francesc Rifé Studio adopted this history as the starting point in terms of interior design, looking to meld preserved traditional features with stylish modern additions.

Characterised by black-stained wood partitions, R Apartment acts as a laid-back escape from the bright streets of Valencia. That said, the property is heavily and proudly connected to its environment. Original patterned floor tiles and exposed ceilings run throughout the property, catalysing the contrast between old and new details. While the furniture of the open plan living space is stylishly modern, the contrasting tiles enhance its effect while the modern furniture emphasises the classic style of the tiles. The same goes for the immaculate kitchen typified by patterned tiles, blackened wood cabinets and steel fittings.

The apartment, which was already open before the renovation, has been opened further creating a spacious main area that comprises an office, dining table and living space. Francesc Rifé Studio has used an angled partitioning wall with integrated no-show doors in order to distinguish private areas from this open social space. The private rooms – a bedroom and a bathroom – are also differentiated by the white interiors that contrast with the stained poplar wood of the public spaces.

By retaining the older features of R Apartment, the architects have instilled a sense of old and new working symbiotically: enhancing each other through contrast. Features like the dining table built around a stone pillar give the feeling of a modern life shaped by the past and a renewed lease of life for the archaic building.

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For more modern renovations that contrast old and new, take the tour of Paris’ Restructuration XSA.